Nurturing Leadership in the Cultural Sector: A Comprehensive Exploration of the Clore Fellowship

Nurturing Leadership in the Cultural Sector: A Comprehensive Exploration of the Clore Fellowship

The Clore Fellowship, a prestigious leadership development program in the cultural sector, has been instrumental in shaping the careers of exceptional leaders across various domains such as the visual and performing arts, museums, libraries, archives, heritage, film, digital media, and cultural policy. Awarding approximately 24 Fellowships annually, the program is tailored to the unique needs and ambitions of each participant. In this article, we delve into the details of the Clore Fellowship, examining its structure, key components, eligibility criteria, international partnerships, and the unparalleled benefits it offers to cultural leaders.

Program Overview:

The Clore Fellowship, spanning from September 2024 to May 2025, is a self-directed initiative emphasizing experiential learning over traditional teaching methods. It is designed for leaders with a vision, offering a formal structure while tailoring the direction, themes, and content to each individual's specific needs. The program's foundation is grounded in contemporary leadership theories, exploring aspects such as authenticity, values, coaching skills, inclusive cultures, strategic planning, finance, governance, and the practice of leadership in action.

Key Components of the Fellowship:

  1. Residential Courses and Workshops:

    • Two 5–10 day residential courses and 3 days of skills-based workshops provide a platform for deep reflection and exploration of leadership skills.
    • Themes include authenticity, coaching, inclusive cultures, strategic planning, finance, governance, and the practical aspects of leadership.
  2. Climate Assembly:

    • Participants engage with leaders in the UK and internationally on the critical issue of climate emergency, fostering collaboration and action.
  3. 360° Leadership Profile:

    • Each Fellow undergoes a 360° leadership profile assessment to gain insights into their leadership style and potential areas for development.
  4. Secondment:

    • A 6–8 week placement in a UK-based cultural organization outside the Fellow's usual field broadens their leadership perspective.
  5. Development Budget:

    • Fellows receive up to £4,000 for personal development, covering costs such as conferences, courses, study visits, or books.
  6. Bursary:

    • A £14,000 bursary is provided to support time away from work during the Fellowship, benefiting UK/Ireland Fellows.
  7. Mentor or Coach Support:

    • Individual support is offered to each Fellow throughout their learning journey.
  8. Provocation Piece and Collaborative Enquiry Project:

    • Fellows undertake a research project on a leadership topic of their choice and collaborate on a contemporary leadership learning question.
  9. Access Budget Provision:

    • Special provision for D/deaf, disabled, neurodivergent Fellows, or those with caring responsibilities ensures inclusivity.
  10. Opportunity for Further Research:

    • After completing the Fellowship, Fellows can apply for a supervised research project funded through the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must demonstrate a minimum of 7 years of experience in a leadership or change-making role in the cultural sector. Exceptionally, the Excellerate Fellowships for early career leaders require 5 years' experience. Other eligibility criteria include a commitment to leadership, a deep understanding of the cultural sector, leadership potential, curiosity, self-reflection, and the ability to influence practice and policy.

International Fellowships:

The Clore Fellowship extends its reach through international partnerships, offering a limited number of Fellowships to applicants from India, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Mexico, China, Egypt, and Brazil. These partnerships contribute to the program's global perspective and enrich the exchange of ideas and experiences.

Costs & Funding:

Generously supported by various funding partners, all Fellowships, except self or employer-funded ones, are fully funded. This includes residential programs, travel, accommodation, meals, refreshments, mentor or coach support, development budget, access budget, and central support from the Clore Leadership team.

Application Process and Timeline:

• Stage 1: Applications Open: 10 January 2024
• Stage 1: Applications Close: Thursday 8 February 2024
• Stage 1: Decisions: Feb/March 2024
• Stage 2: Applications Open: w/c 6 March 2024
• Stage 2: Applications Close: 27 March 2024
• Stage 2: Decisions/Invite to Interview: April 2024
• Stage 3: Interviews: April – May 2024
• Fellowship Decisions: June 2024

The Clore Fellowship stands as a beacon for cultivating leadership excellence in the cultural sector. By providing a unique blend of experiential learning, self-reflection, and exposure to diverse leadership challenges, the program equips cultural leaders with the skills, knowledge, and networks necessary to shape the future of the arts and cultural landscape. As we eagerly anticipate the next cohort of Fellows, it is evident that the Clore Fellowship continues to be a cornerstone in fostering transformative leadership in the cultural sphere.